Speakers | Digital Media Africa 2019

Digital Media Africa 2019

Speakers | Digital Media Africa 2019


Digital Media Africa 2019 will host leading minds in the digital media space for a two day discussion on trends and best-practice. 

Speakers for 2019

Sr. Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, UK

Nic Newman is Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism where he  writes on the future of digital media. He is lead author of the Digital News Report the world's biggest and most authoritative survey of changing news consumption and was joint author of a recent report on the Future of Online Video.

Nic was a founding member of the BBC News Website, leading international coverage as World Editor (1997-2001). As Head of Product Development and then Future Media Controller for BBC News (2001-10), he helped introduce innovations such as blogs, podcasting and on-demand video. He works on digital, product and engagement strategies for a wide range of media companies across Europe. 


Africa Editor, Quartz, USA

Yinka Adegoke is the founding editor of Quartz Africa, coordinating its news and events in partnership with a team across the continent. In 2018 he was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine for his role in developing Quartz Africa as a vital news and features platform on the continent. Yinka has reported from over 20 countries across Europe, Africa and North America. Before Quartz, Yinka was deputy editor at Billboard where he ran business coverage for the world’s leading music magazine brand. Prior to that he was Reuters’ senior media correspondent covering the global media business. Earlier in his career Yinka was an editor at New Media Age in London covering the early days of the digital media revolution and a regular writer for The Guardian and The Financial Times. He has spoken at the World Bank, WTO and is a pundit on BBC, CNN and NPR.

Head of Africa, Facebook

Nunu Ntshingila is Facebook’s Head of Africa, with responsibility for leading the team that engages with agencies and brands in Africa to help them make the most of the company’s products including Facebook itself, Instagram and related services. She is passionate about the role of technology in driving social inclusion in Africa and about Facebook’s mission of creating value for African advertisers and people. Before joining Facebook in 2015, Nunu helped drive the creation of Ogilvy’s network in sub-Saharan Africa, which spans some 27 countries. During a long career at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, Nunu served as Deputy Managing Director and was later promoted to Chief Executive Officer. She later took on an extended role managing the offices in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. A graduate of the University of Swaziland and Morgan State University in the US, Ntshingila has also held senior marketing positions at Nike and the South African Tourism board. In 2011, Nunu was appointed to the Ogilvy & Mather global board. She has also served on the boards of Transnet, the V&A Waterfront, and Old Mutual South Africa. Nunu has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Financial Mail for her work in leading and transforming the advertising business in South Africa. In 2016 she became the first woman to be inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame. She loves family, architecture and food. In 2018, Nunu was ranked as one of the top 50 Most Powerful Women in business outside the US (internationally) by Fortune.

Africa Director, WAN-IFRA Women in News Programme, Malawi

Tikhala Chibwana has over 20 years’ experience in media and media development. He worked for 10 years as general manager for a media house with interests in newspapers, television, radio and online. He has previously worked as Features Editor and Assistant Editor. Besides his media experience, he has worked in marketing, training and development as well as human resource management. He also has hands on experience in project management, advocacy and organizational development. He holds an MBA, post graduate Diploma in Marketing (CIM) and a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (ACCA) among other qualifications. For the past three years he has been working as Africa Director for WAN-IFRA’s Women in News (WIN) programme.

Director, jamlab.africa, South Africa

Indra de Lanerolle is the director of the Journalism and Media Lab (jamlab.africa) at Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg, Africa's first journalism and media accelerator and innovation lab. He is a visiting researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he conducts internet research and teaches digital media entrepreneurship, digital media theory and television. He has published research on government and civil society use of technologies in accountability, on the 'internet of the poor' and mobile Internet use in Africa. He also regularly contributes to public and policy debates on internet and tech policy. He started his career as a journalist, television and film producer. His work has been recognised with a Peabody Award, an Emmy nomination and the Japan Governor's Prize. He teaches courses in television journalism and media innovation at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Founder and Managing Director, Steady Media, Germany

Sebastian Esser is a co-founder of Krautreporter (KR), a digital magazine, and Steady, a membership platform that helps your audience become paying members. KR was crowdfunded in 2014 by more than 17.000 people. It has been publishing stories on politics and social issues and specializes in ad-free, independent, collaborative journalism.

Since 2016, Sebastian is a co-founder of Steady, a membership platform, providing tools for people powered media businesses all over Europe. Sebastian has been a reporter on national politics for Vanity Fair Germany and on the German media industry for V.i.S.d.P. magazine.

Founder & CEO, frayintermedia, South Africa

Paula Fray has worked in media for more than three decades as a journalist, editor, trainer and media manager. Paula was the first female editor of the Saturday Star newspaper in South Africa. She is currently the managing director of the pan-African media training organisation frayintermedia, which she founded in 2005. The organisation has trained journalists, media leaders, civil society organisations, government officials and corporate leaders during its decade-long existence.

She is a trustee of Media Monitoring Africa and IRIN independent news agency. She is a Print and Digital Media SA fellow and a public representative on the Press Council of South Africa.

Paula graduated with a BJourn degree from Rhodes University and has a Woman and Law Certificate from UNISA. A recipient of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she is a former member of the Nieman Foundation Advisory Board at Harvard.

Partner, PwC, South Africa

Charles has been with PwC for 15 years. He is a director in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications division. He has experience locally and abroad, having spent 2 years in Vancouver, Canada and has worked across a range of clients, both private and listed. Passionate about the entertainment and media industry, Charles has been a member of the E&M Outlook editorial team since the inception of the South Africa publication 9 years ago.

Executive Director World Editors Forum, WAN-IFRA, UK

Cherilyn Ireton heads up the World Editors Forum, the global network for editors within WAN-IFRA. She is a seasoned newspaper professional, having spent more than 20 years on South African newspapers, as journalist and editorial manger on the country's leading titles, the Sunday Times and Business Day. She rose to be Chief Operating Officer of BDFM Publishers, the business media joint venture between Pearson, owners of the Financial Times, and Times Media in South Africa which published Business Day newspaper, the Financial Mail magazine and Summit TV. She relocated to the UK in 2005 and owned an ran a London-based media consultancy, Presslinks, which advised a variety of international organizations and foreign governments.

Executive Editor, The Daily Nation, Nation Media Group, Kenya

Pamella Makotsi Sittoni is a Kenyan journalist, with more than 20 years’ experience in the media in East Africa. Currently Executive Editor and Managing Editor of the Daily Nation, at the Nation Media Group (NMG), Ms Sittoni has held several leadership positions. She served as Managing Editor of NMG’s regional newspaper, The EastAfrican, from 2012 to 2018; and as Managing Editor of the Standard (2005 – 2006). From 2006 to 2012, she worked as a Communications Specialist at UNICEF Kenya where she was charged with advocacy for children and women. Ms Sittoni began her career at the Nation Media Group as a reporter in 1993 and rose to Chief Sub-editor. In 2003, she moved to the Standard Group as Deputy Managing Editor. In 2017, Ms Sittoni was named by the World Association of Newspapers, WAN-IFRA the Laureate of the Women in News Editorial Leadership Award for Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, through the African Leadership Initiative. She holds a BA (Literature and Anthropology) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication from the University of Nairobi, and a Masters in Communication from the University of Leicester.

Group Executive, News and Current Affairs, SABC, South Africa

Phathiswa Magopeni is a journalist and academic who currently serves as the Group Executive of News and Current Affairs at the South African Public Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). She is a well-rounded management professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the news sector. She began her career as a lecturer at the University of the Western in 1995 and joined the University of Cape Town’s Southern African Languages and Literatures department in 1997. Her journalism career began as an SABC freelancer in Cape Town. She was as part of the production team of the public broadcaster’s regional programme, Cape-at-Six. She later joined etv as a writer and presenter for isiXhosa news bulletins. From there, moved to produce the channel’s breakfast show, Morning News Edition. In 2005 she rejoined SABC news as a bulletin writer but left for eNCA in 2008, a month before its launch as South Africa’s first 24-hour news channel. At eNCA she started out as a senior desk producer and later became an output editor. In 2010 she was appointed as etv’s prime time news editor responsible for the English flagship free-to-air news service. In 2013 she became eNCA’s Head of Terrestrial News Services responsible for all news content on terrestrial channels including launching an IsiZulu news bulletin on OpenView. In 2017 this role got expanded with added responsibility as Business and Economics Editor. She left the channel in February 2018, to lead the news division at SABC. Magopeni has an Honours degree, a Master of Philosophy in Education (University of the Western Cape), an Integrated Marketing Communications Diploma (AAA School of Advertising) and a Master of Business Administration (Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria). Currently she is reading for her PhD in Business Administration at GIBS. Her business training and extensive experience in the field of journalism have provided her with a solid understanding of strategic, technological and operational demands of today’s rapidly changing news environment. She is passionate about education and research. As part of her academic engagements, Magopeni delivers master classes on reporting financial and economic issues, with a specific focus on what it means to be ‘universally-equipped’ journalist in the age of technology and shrinking newsrooms, at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Journalism Department. She is a Duke University Menell fellow and an African Leadership Initiative/Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa fellow.

Founding Editor and Director, the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, South Africa

Mia Malan is the founding editor and director of the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in Johannesburg, South Africa. Bhekisisa has pioneered solutions journalism in the country and its reporting has helped to set the agenda on several social justice issues. Under Malan’s leadership, Bhekisisa’s online readership increased 30 fold and its donor funding eight fold between 2013 and 2019. During this period, the centre expanded from three to fifteen permanent and part-time staff. Malan has won more than 20 African journalism awards for her work and is a former fellow of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. Prior to starting Bhekisisa, she was a Knight Journalism Fellow and journalism lecturer at Rhodes University. Between 2003 and 2006, Malan launched the first health journalism programme of the international media development organisation, Internews Network, in Kenya. During this time, she helped to develop a training curriculum that was also implemented in Nigeria, Ethiopia and India. Malan holds a Master’s Degree in Science Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch.

Founder, 263Chat, Zimbabwe

In September 2012, Nigel established 263Chat. 263Chat is a Zimbabwean online publication focused on encouraging and participating in progressive national dialogue. Together with a team of fellow journalists, they publish the news every day on www.263chat.com. Nigel holds a Bachelor of Financial Administration (Accounting) from Australia and an MBA from the Scotland, UK.

Co-founder - Head of Consumer Experience, Poool, France

Alexandre Santini co-founded Poool in 2016, a tech startup that aims at reshaping the way people access and finance content. Its first product, Access, is a dynamic paywall solution that helps publishers implement the best strategies for their audience. At Poool, Santini is focused on customer success & product. Prior to that, he spent years as lead developer in web agencies.

Managing Director RADP (Ringier Africa Digital Publishing) East-Africa, Kenya


Leonie von Elverfeldt, Managing Director RADP (Ringier Africa Digital Publishing) East-Africa, manages www.pulselive.co.ke (est. 2017), Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa, the Marketing Agency RDM and Play Studio their Native Advertising Studio. Leonie entered the media-landscape in 2012, by launching and subsequently managing BILD's (Germanys biggest news title) paid content scheme BILDplus for almost 5 years. Before that she built up the Full-Service Agency blumberry.de and another Start-up in Berlin.

Director of Media Development and Head of Women in News, Canada

Melanie is a gender and media development expert with more than 10 years’ experience leading capacity building and advocacy initiatives which place gender equality at their core. As director of Media Development for WAN-IFRA, Melanie oversees the organisation’s media development portfolio, which includes management of a multi-million euro budget to support media in 25 countries around the globe.  Melanie is a creator of WAN-IFRA’s sector-leading Women in News programme, an ambitious multi-year initiative to promote women’s leadership and voices in the news with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Melanie has previously held various leadership, programme development and social investment strategy positions in North America and Europe, including four years with the Toronto-based Women’s Executive Network, where as Vice President International, she led the company’s expansion to its first international market with the launch of WXN Ireland. Melanie has a BA (Hons) from Kings College, Dalhousie University, and holds an Msc from the London School of Economics, University of London.

Chief Product Officer, Amedia AS, Norway

Serial Entrepreneur, South Africa

Roy Mathieu Borole is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Thanga AiI and Media Studio. Born and raised in the apocalyptic wasteland of Johannesburg in the 1980's, he has spent his life breaking computers and praying to the lord on high that his code and monstrously large African thighs will run.

Founder, gsport4girls, South Africa

Kass Naidoo is the founder of gsport4girls - South Africa's first ever online initiative focussed entirely on promoting women's sport. The initiative runs a 24/7 news service on gsport.co.za and @gsport4girls across social media platforms. The gsport Awards takes place yearly to unearth icons and role models who raise the profile of South African women's sport. Kass is South Africa's first female cricket commentator with over 15 years' experience in cricket broadcasting. She also spent four years at Cricket South Africa, shaping the brands of Cricket South Africa and the Proteas. She was recently onboarded as a Play Your Part ambassador by Brand South Africa to fly the flag for South African sport. Kass is a mom of three who spends her remaining time empowering women through her involvement as MC and Speaker.

Acting Executive Director, African Gender and Media Initiative, Kenya

Jane Godia has over 20 years as an editor and trainer. She worked in mainstream media and rose to the position of Deputy Managing Editor. Currently, she is in In-charge Acting as Executive Director African Gender and Media Initiative (GEM) Trust. She is Project Manager for WIN Programme in East and Central. She previously served as Coach for WIN Kenya. She has consulted a lot in media development, gender, training and coaching. She is a core expert on training in Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment in the work place. She holds a Masters of Arts (MA) in Gender and Development and post-graduate Diplomas in Journalism, Media studies and Gender and Development.

WAN-IFRA Vice President & Head of Digital, The Tiso Blackstar Group, South Africa

Lisa MacLeod is Head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar Group, South Africa’s largest English-language publisher, and owner of 8 newspapers, 15 websites, music, film and radio businesses across the continent.  Her role is to lead digital strategy and innovation, and manage Tiso Blackstar’s online properties with 6-million unique browsers monthly on titles such as TimesLIVE, SowetanLIVE and BusinessLIVE, as well as implement sustainable digital monetisation streams.

Lisa was previously General Manager of Digital for Media24’s 24.com in Cape Town, and prior to that spent 12 years in London at the Financial Times, helping to drive their print to digital integration. She served as Head of Operations for FT.com, widely thought to be the most successful paid website in the media industry, and FT Managing Editor, overseeing staffing, strategic planning and budgets for the FT globally.

She has been on the board of the World Editors Forum for many years, and has taught and spoken at numerous international conferences and training events for WAN-IFRA and the WEF.

Head of Brand Studio: 24.com, News24, South Africa

Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath leads a cross-country team of talented video journalists, who have created award-winning documentaries and special projects. In 2018, she was one of 28 women selected internationally for the Poynter Institute’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. Jerusha holds an MBA from Wits Business School and has a particular interest in sustainable commercial solutions for the future of digital journalism.

Director, Journalism Leaders Programme | Co-convenor: Digital Editors Network, UK

Dr François Nel and Dr Coral Millburn-Curtis lead the Innovation Research Group which is a partnership between applied researchers from Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford and the University of Central Lancashire, where François is the founding director of the pioneering Journalism Leaders Programme. He has worked with WAN-IFRA since 2009 to research the priorities of news executives worldwide and is the editor of the association's World Press Trends initiative. François is the first academic to become an executive member of the World Editors Forum and works to support entrepreneurial individuals and forward-thinking organisations worldwide, including News UK, Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press, CN Group and Times Media Ltd (South Africa).

Online Editor, Punch, Nigeria

John Abayomi is the Editor Online of Punch newspaper where he oversees editorial content on the web, mobile, newsletter and social media. He is involved in audience engagement, search engine optimisation and video strategy of Nigeria's most widely read newspaper. He has been part of the growth of Punchng.com as the news site of choice for digital content in the country. He holds a master's degree in New Media & Society from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Award-Winning Political Journalist, Sunday Times, South Africa

Qaanitah Hunter is an award-winning political journalist with the Sunday Times in Johannesburg. Her writing on South African politics and investigations feature prominently on the front pages of the Sunday Times and often set the agenda in the country.  She has reported fearlessly on state capture, the Zuma years and the political transition thereafter. Qaanitah’s constant probing and investigations have played a pivotal role in holding truth to power. In 2019, she became the youngest person to be awarded the Nat Nakasa award for brave and courageous journalism. The judges of the award commended her for showing integrity and reporting fearlessly. Qaanitah’s accolades include Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award in 2016 and 2017 both regionally and nationally. She was also the runner-up in the Taco Kuiper award for investigative journalism in 2016. Her political analysis and commentary on current affairs and politics have featured prominently on many platforms including the SABC, eNCA and Talk Radio 702. She has also previously written for the Daily Maverick and the Mail & Guardian. In 2017, Qaanitah was featured on The Young Independents list of 100 influential youth as a disruptor to watch. She has fought strongly against censorship and intimidation among journalists and has been a strong advocator for the freedom of the press.  Qaanitah holds an Honours degree in Journalism from the University of the Witwatersrand where she focused her research on the phenomenon of fake news and its impact on journalism.

Managing Consultant for Oxgn PR and COO of VPCG Corporate Communications, Zimbabwe

Vincent Kahiya is a vastly-experienced Communications Practitioner with over 25 years of experience covering Reporting, Editing, Public Relations and Public Information Management. Vincent was Editor of the Zimbabwe Independent (theindependent.co.zw) for six years (2004-2010) before becoming founding Editor of NewsDay (newsday.co.zw) in 2010. Between 2015 and 2017, he led the publishing company Alpha Media Holdings as Managing Director before joining Oxgn PR as Managing Consultant and COO of Corporate Communications firm VPCG (vpcg.co.zw). In this role, he advises on Corporate Communications Strategy and Reputation Management to local and international organisations. He is an international trainer in Journalism, Media Strategy, Social Media Policy and Governance and Digital Media Project Development. He is a steering committee member of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Women-In-News where he advises the Africa WIN Programme.

Director, News Partnerships EMEA, Facebook,

Jesper Doub is Director of News Partnerships, EMEA at Facebook. In this role he focuses on building relationships with journalists and publishers across Europe, Middle East and Africa as they embrace digital change and seek new, sustainable business models. Prior to joining Facebook, Jesper served as CEO, SPIEGEL ONLINE and SPIEGEL TV, as well as publishing director of SPIEGEL-Verlag, where he oversaw the introduction of paid content offering SPIEGEL plus, while growing SPIEGEL ONLINE to its largest ever audience and revenue. Before joining SPIEGEL, he was CIO of the media group M. DuMont Schauberg and Managing Director of DuMont Systems, and has also held senior positions at the Bauer Media Group, and Axel Springer Verlag. Jesper studied industrial engineering at the Hamburg University of Technology.

Chief strategic officer, Wunderman, South Africa

Astrid Ascar has 29 years’ experience in the media industry. She began her career as a radio and TV journalist and producer, and started working in the digital media and marketing space in 2004. She has worked for media brands including DStv, Carte Blanche, Summit TV (now Business Day TV), The Home Channel, CNBC Africa, SABC TV, SAfm, Highveld and in more recent years co-hosting an online radio business show on Hot919 fm. 

Astrid’s consulting work focus for the past 10 years has been digital and integrated marketing and communications strategies, content creation and production, key messaging and copywriting, website audits including UI and UX consulting, helping clients implement plans across owned, earned and paid digital platforms, and using data analytics to generate business insights. She also MCs, gives talks, and facilitates workshops and conferences, and offers training in digital media and marketing, key message crafting, media interview skills, presentation skills, and crisis comms. 

Since March this year Astrid has been fulfilling the role of Chief Strategy Officer for the Wunderman South Africa group. 

Chief Executive of M&G Media Limited, South Africa

Hoosain Karjieker, originally from Cape Town, served as a financial director at M&G Media in 1999 before becoming its chief executive in 2009. Before that, he was a financial manager at Multichoice South Africa.

Co-founder and Executive Chairman at biNu, South Africa

Gour Lentell is Co-founder and Executive Chairman at biNu, his third technology start-up venture, focussed on solving the barrier of unaffordable mobile data costs that most people in the world today still struggle with. Gour is an experienced digital industry thought leader, entrepreneur, management consultant and online marketing strategist with a career spanning three continents with companies like PriceWaterhouse and Oracle then all things internet for the past twenty years. Gour is pioneering the establishment and growth of #datafree digital services in the African region and beyond.

Facebook - Strategic Media Partnerships Manager - Africa

Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy leads Facebook's Strategic Media Partnerships across Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining Facebook, Jocelyne served in various roles at Disney, Viacom and Thomson Reuters, bringing entertainment programming, television channels and international news to media platforms around the continent. She started her career as a journalist, mainly at Reuters television. In terms of education, Jocelyne studied International Relations and Journalism in Paris, France. A committed pan-Africanist, Jocelyne is passionate about great storytelling, empowering African media and amplifying Africa's voice in the world. Originally from Rwanda, she has lived for long periods in Ethiopia, France, Kenya, and South Africa, where she still resides.

Digital Media Africa 2019